BBC drama Informer stars Bel Powley and Paddy Considine as Counter-Terrorism officers – but you won’t find any romantic love affairs or clichéd rivalries in their on-screen partnership. And that’s entirely intentional.
“It’s purely a professional relationship, and that’s one of the things that really drew me to the script,” Powley says. “I think it’s just really rare, still these days.
“Unfortunately if there’s a male, female professional relationship, often it involves sex or love or jealousy or power play. But with them, they really respect each other. She learns from him, but also he learns things from her as well.”
The drama sees Powley’s character DC Holly Marten join the elite Counter-Terrorism Special Unit (CTSU), where she’s teamed up with DS Gabe Waters (Considine). Fresh out of training college and hand-picked for the job, Holly is smart and single-minded. She’s also extremely curious – and determined to find out the truth.
“As a woman it was very refreshing to read a detective role who was just good at her job because she was good at her job,” the actress says. “She’s just good at it because she’s good at it.
“I think there are a lot of female detective roles like Homeland or something, where she’s good at her job because she’s so flawed, she’s good at her job when she’s having a manic episode. There’s this thing wrong with her and that’s what makes her good at it.
“But Holly’s just good at it because she works hard and she’s good; she’s got the skill set there just because she’s smart, not because of any big flaw that exists in her. And you don’t often read women like that.”
Holly is paired up in the CTSU with DS Gabe Waters. Having spent years in the Met’s Special Branch Undercover programme, he now handles a network of East London informants in the fight against terrorism.
“Holly, who is very new to the job, slowly starts to break Gabe down,” Considine says. “He finds an admiration for her because she does everything by the book and is a fantastic observer.”
But despite that admiration, Holly may soon become a threat to Gabe.
“I don’t want to say too much,” Powley hints, “But she kind of starts realising some things about him and starts her own secret investigation about what’s going on with Gabe behind closed doors…”
This article was originally published on 16 October 2018